My question is closely related to this post.
There are a number of existing platforms to perform numerical individual-based simulation in populations genetics. An almost exhaustive list of such platforms can be found here.
Some program (like NEMO or SFS_CODE for example) perform forward simulations while some others (like SIMCOAL2 for example) perform backward (coalescence) simulations.
I am asking for a general comparison between those two methods.
- Is one faster than the other? Why? (Intuitively I'd expect backward simulations to be faster).
- Does backward simulation allow for simulating selection, recombination, gender-specific mutation rate, complex demography, etc..
- Why/when would one use a backward/forward simulation model rather than the other type of model?